On Air

Andy Goulding

Dinner Time

The School Food Trust has been set up to improve the food children eat in schools. It has been helping schools and caterers to introduce the Government's mandatory food and nutrient-based standards. These standards make sure that children have access to a healthy and tasty school lunch. On average, school lunches contain the right levels of energy and nutrients required by children for healthy growth and development.

The results of The School Food Trust Survey in May 2010 found that healthier food and drink items were chosen and eaten more frequently by pupils taking a school lunch than those bringing a packed lunch, and packed lunches often included items now restricted or prohibited by the standards for school lunches.

Pupils bringing packed lunches on average consume more meat products, e.g., sausages, meat pies, pasties and non-permitted food and drink items, e.g., drinks high in sugar, and snacks high in fat, sugar and salt. As a result, pupils who bring packed lunches typically have higher average intakes of sugar, fat, saturated fat and salt than those taking a school lunch.

School Meals

By encouraging your child to eat school lunches you can be sure that they have access to varied, tasty, well-balanced meals. They also enjoy the opportunity to eat with their friends and to access foods that are not normally on the weekly home menu. This has been proven to help 'fussy-eaters' – not that we like to label them as such!

Many primary schools, have recently introduced a packed lunch policy to support the introduction of healthier school lunches. This should be available from your school. Lots of parents tell us they are not sure which foods they can include to ensure that their child's lunch box is healthy and nutritionally balanced.


Lunch Boxes

When it comes to lunch boxes or school lunches it's hard to argue that a warm, nutritious school lunch is the best way to ensure that your child is getting a good well-balanced meal in the middle of the school day. However there are times when packed lunches are the only option, such as school trips and for some pupils in smaller schools where there may not be a kitchen to provide school meals.

Rice and pasta salads, carrot and pumpkin seed salads, carrot and apricot cake, and chocolate bran flake slice. Sandwiches are encouraged as well with tasty twists such as curried egg mayo & watercress, cheddar & reduced calorie coleslaw and cream cheese & dates. Other ideas include a delicious Spanish omelette, bean salads in pitta, and egg & spinach wraps. All the balanced menu selections are available at www.schoolfoodtrust.org.uk and are available for you to download.